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Drones and STEM Sells! But What, How, and to Whom?

Professor Karen Joyce makes the case for drones in research

A Centre for Geography, Environment and Society lecture
Date15 January 2019
Time16:00 to 18:00
PlaceLecture Room A

From satellites, to drones and GPS, geospatial science underpins a lot of the technology that we use on a daily basis. Consider any mobile app that uses location services – that’s geospatial! Google Earth has accustomed us to seeing incredible geospatial data of our local environments and neighbourhoods, but the advent of drones has taken this to the next level. With drones, we are empowered to move from just consuming image data to creating it. Drones are certainly the next ‘shiny thing’ to chase in geospatial technology, but we need to move beyond pretty pictures to exploit their true potential in remote sensing. In this talk I’ll explore some of the challenges involved in acquiring drone based image data that’s worthy of scientific enquiry for environmental monitoring purposes with a particular focus on my work on the Great Barrier Reef. Field and image data collection in marine and coastal environments holds its own set of unique challenges that drones can both help to solve, and create, and I’ll share my lessons learnt from over five years of exploration, discovery, and mishap in developing suitable drone based image acquisition and processing workflows. I’ll also look at how drones can be used as the ‘hook’ to capture our next generation of geospatial scientists through STEM education that’s beyond the stereotypical labcoat.

From satellites, to drones and GPS, geospatial science underpins a lot of the technology that we use on a daily basis. Consider any mobile app that uses location services – that’s geospatial! Google Earth has accustomed us to seeing incredible geospatial data of our local environments and neighbourhoods, but the advent of drones has taken this to the next level. With drones, we are empowered to move from just consuming image data to creating it. Drones are certainly the next ‘shiny thing’ to chase in geospatial technology, but we need to move beyond pretty pictures to exploit their true potential in remote sensing. In this talk I’ll explore some of the challenges involved in acquiring drone based image data that’s worthy of scientific enquiry for environmental monitoring purposes with a particular focus on my work on the Great Barrier Reef. Field and image data collection in marine and coastal environments holds its own set of unique challenges that drones can both help to solve, and create, and I’ll share my lessons learnt from over five years of exploration, discovery, and mishap in developing suitable drone based image acquisition and processing workflows. I’ll also look at how drones can be used as the ‘hook’ to capture our next generation of geospatial scientists through STEM education that’s beyond the stereotypical labcoat.

Dr Karen Joyce is a senior lecturer in remote sensing and spatial science at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. Karen’s research focusses on using remotely sensed data from satellite and drone based platforms to help understands patterns and processes in the environment, particularly on coral reefs. She is the founder of She Maps, an ‘edutainment’ organization designed to bring diversity to how we think about STEM and who can or should get involved. Her programs have spread around Australia, the United States, and are soon to launch throughout southern Africa.

Research lecture aimed at students, researchers and all interested parties

ProviderCentre for Geography, Environment and Society
OrganizerJane Wills
Tel01326253761
Email

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